Last January marked the 48th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. America has aborted more than 60 million babies since the 1973 Roe decision. Now an avowedly pro-choice administration is committed to growing this number even more. These facts mean the pro-life movement is at a crossroads. Are it’s current strategies working? 2021 will be a year that could have big implications for abortion. A more conservative Supreme Court, plus changes in leadership both in Congress and in the White House could lead to a flurry of legal fights over abortion. Roe v. Wade itself might be in play by the end of the year. But what if the strategy of focusing on legal and political action is wrong? Worse yet, what if the strident political and legal activism has alienated Americans in general? According to a recent Gallup poll 48% of Americans identify as pro-choice.
So, what if in addition to fighting to overturn laws, we took cues from a quieter and more grassroots approach that leads with love and service? One that has been making a difference for over 40 years: The pregnancy resource centre movement. Pregnancy resource centres (PRCs) are one of the most important parts of the pro-life movement, because even if Roe is overturned, abortion will still be legal in at least 21 states. Women will still need care and support, they will still need help navigating their options. The real issue isn’t about changing women’s minds anyway. The majority know they are ending the life of a child. It’s their circumstances that truly scare them. Pregnancy resource centres understand this. They help women see other options and ways they can still pursue their careers, dreams and life without ending a pregnancy.
Pro-life groups like Human Coalition now employ a “Continuum of Care” initiative that surrounds women with specialized coaching, training and material resources before, during and after the birth of their child. This includes helping women apply for Medicare, find housing, job coaching and parenting classes. PRCs understand that to truly change a woman’s mind on abortion, she must be given the resources she needs to feel safe and equipped to raise her child well. Women like Rosliany who was facing homelessness, an unsupportive partner and even possible deportation. “When I found out I was expecting a child, it was a moment of complete desperation,” she said. “I was without a job and I couldn’t think of a way to sustain my son. Having an anklet on my foot and not knowing what’s going to happen with my future; I was in anguish.”
Rosliany contacted Centro Tepeyac Pregnancy Centre in Silver Spring, MD. The team at Tepeyac met every need they could. They connected Rosliany with free housing, they also helped her find an attorney who offered his services pro bono. Once they alleviated Rosliany’s barriers, choosing life made sense. When she gave birth to her son, the PRC even took care of the hospital bills. This is what the more than 2,500 PRCs do every day across the nation. They help the Rosliany’s of the world choose life without ever bringing laws or politics into it. Serving women facing daunting circumstances and showing them the plethora of options and care available to them. Those looking to get involved need look no further than the pregnancy resource centres who are leading the way. This is how we can change the tide of abortion and truly care for women.
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